When Solo: A Star Wars Story premiered in theaters, fans were shocked at the return of a beloved villain who hadn't been seen in movies in nearly two decades.
While the character no longer has the Sith distinction of "Darth" before his name, he is still a powerful warrior for the Dark Side. His appearance in Solo might have been surprising for some fans, given the outcome of his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
But for fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Maul's appearance serves as a confirmation that the animated series will continue to have an impact on the films — much like when Saw Gerrera appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The appearance of Maul in the film was kept under wraps. Even the actors on set, Emilia Clarke and Paul Bettany, didn't know Maul was in that scene until the day they shoot the footage.
"So it was something that I'd been subtly laying in hopefully early on. I always sort of thought that's ... a character I adore from the prequel trilogy I felt like was underutilized in the prequel trilogy," Kasdan said. "So it was something that, when we realized that we wanted someone in the crime world above Dryden, we wanted it to feel like there were bigger fish than even the ones we get to meet in this movie. There was no one more lethal and more in the spirit of the ultimate villain that we could identify in the trilogy than him. That's something that I sort of always wanted, and [director] Ron [Howard] was very supportive of. Sort of intuited that it's what I wanted, and we made it happen."
Though Peter Serafinowicz voiced the character in The Phantom Menace, Sam Witwer took over those duties in the animated series. Witwer returned again for his first big screen duty as Maul's voice, but actor Ray Park reprised the physical role of Maul.5comments
"Ray had created a character that was very healthy in the fans' eyes and in the hearts of fans, really had a wonderful life that went beyond Phantom Menace, all because of the presence of Ray Park," Witwer told ComicBook.com. "I got to jump on there and maybe add a little bit more to it. Ray and George [Lucas]. I believe it was Iain McCaig who created the art. There's so many people that helped create this thing that I have now been able to attach my name to."
Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit digital HD on September 14th, followed by the Blu-ray and DVD release on September 25th.